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Yes, we’re picking another sweep: Alabama, Auburn and Jacksonville State should make all the local fans happy.

Let’s get to the picks:

No. 21 Arkansas (7-3) at No. 2 Alabama (9-1): If Alabama wins, the Tide will clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game, where Georgia is waiting.

The Tide running game is a concern. So far, Bryce Young has made up for it (mostly) as he ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency. Still, it’s hard to imagine Alabama surviving to make the College Football Playoff if it continues with a one-dimensional attack. … Alabama 35, Arkansas 14.

Auburn (6-4) at South Carolina (5-5): Yes, Bo Nix is out, but T.J. Finley is plenty enough for the Tigers to win at South Carolina, which just isn’t that good. The Gamecocks beat a reeling Florida team and also have victories over Vanderbilt, Troy, Eastern Illinois and Eastern Carolina.

It’s possible the bigger loss could be kicker Anders Carlson, who tore an ACL on an onsides kickoff against Mississippi State. Walk-on Ben Patton is the odds-on choice to replace Carlson. … Auburn 28, South Carolina 21.

Jacksonville State (5-5) at Eastern Kentucky (6-4): The Gamecocks don’t have a very good team, but a win Saturday would mean they’ll finish 6-5, and that will be a real accomplishment.

The Gamecocks played what turned into a tougher schedule than they would’ve liked. Sam Houston is 9-0, Kennesaw State is 9-1 with a loss to Georgia Tech of the FBS, and UT Martin is 9-1 with a loss to Western Kentucky of the FBS in the season opener. All three beat JSU. Also, there was a loss to UAB, which is 7-3 in the FBS.

The one loss JSU shouldn’t have suffered was to Central Arkansas, which is 5-5. With a win that day, JSU would be 6-4 and probably playing for an FCS playoff spot this week. Instead, the Gamecocks’ season will end against Eastern Kentucky, win or lose. … Jacksonville State 31, Eastern Kentucky 23.

No. 7 Michigan State (9-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (9-1): Michigan State is getting plenty of pity from the country’s football faithful, as the mean, ol’ College Football Playoff committee has ranked the Spartans at No. 7, just behind No. 6 Michigan, which the Spartans have beaten. While Michigan certainly looks like the better team (despite that loss), Michigan State can show otherwise with a win over the Big Ten’s dominant program.

Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in rushing at 147.3 yards a game. Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is fifth nationally in passing efficiency. … Ohio State 31, Michigan State 17.

No. 10 Wake Forest (9-1) at Clemson (7-3): Clemson hasn’t lost to Wake Forest since 2008. The Tigers have trouble scoring, but the defense is third nationally in points allowed at 15.3 a game. Wake is second nationally in points at 44.7 a game. … Clemson 27, Wake Forest 23.

Memphis (5-5) at No. 24 Houston (9-1): The College Football Playoff ranking committee probably is cheering for Houston these days, because the Cougars might be the best bet shot at handing Cincinnati a loss, which would get the Bearcats out of the playoff picture. They would meet in the American Athletic Conference title game.

Houston has a really good defense, allowing only 291 yards a game. The Cougars also are second nationally in turnover margin. … Houston 27, Memphis 14.

SMU (8-2) at No. 5 Cincinnati (10-0): At one time, this looked like a real showdown, but SMU has lost two of its last three. Former Alabama running back Jerome Ford — who Alabama really could use right now — has 1,057 rushing yards for Cincinnati. … Cincinnati 35, SMU 21.

No. 3 Oregon (9-1) at No. 23 Utah (7-3): To win the Pac-12 and keep a spot in the College Football Playoff, Oregon is going to have to beat Utah twice — once this week and again in the league title game. … Utah 28, Oregon 27.

Vanderbilt (2-8) at No. 12 Ole Miss (8-2): The Rebels should steam through this one, and a win the following week over Mississippi State or the bowl game would give Ole Miss 10 wins for only the fourth time post-integration in school history. Ole Miss won 10 in 1971, 2003, 2010.

The Rebels never have won 11 in school history. ... Ole Miss 38, Vanderbilt 10.

Florida (5-5) at Missouri (5-5): It seems unlikely Dan Mullen will survive to coach Florida next season, which tells you how bad Missouri is. The Tigers are trending so low that they’re a nine-point underdog at home to the same Florida team that’s probably going to fire its coach. ... Florida 38, Missouri 27.

Last week: 6-4. Not a good week. Missed on Mississippi State’s win at Auburn, Michigan’s win over Penn State, Baylor’s win over Oklahoma, Ole Miss’ win over Texas A&M.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.

This article originally ran on


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